29 Apr Klines Get Settled in Macau
David and Melissa Kline arrived in Macau at the beginning of April. David sent this report on April 23.
“Things have been going real well here. We are so busy with setting up our apartment, studying Cantonese, getting together with old friends, getting to know our new jobs, and spending time with the other staff.
“First, we have a three-bedroom apartment on the second floor of a 24-floor building. It has lots of windows that make it bright during the day and beautiful at night because of the lights from buildings around us. We have received our washing machine and bed and are still waiting on furniture, a desk, and a futon for anyone that is brave enough to stay with us. To get an idea of the size of everything, the kitchen is the size of a normal American bathroom, even though this kitchen is nice because it has cabinets. The bathrooms are small and tile from head to toe. The one thing really different about these bathrooms is the water heater takes a shower with you. I mean, the water heater heats the water as you use it and it hangs in the shower on the front wall. The bedrooms are small but very adequate and for Macau standards have tons of built-in storage–what a blessing!
“The next thing that has been taking a lot of time is language study. We have been focusing on sounds and tones. Cantonese is made up of 7 tones for each sound in the language. As you can imagine, tone-deaf Americans struggle a little with this language. We have been doing pretty well, since Melissa knows quite a bit from her previous year-and-a-half in Macau, and from my three short trips, I survive. To give you an example of what can happen, consider two words written with English phonics, touh ngo and touh ngo. As you can see, the sounds are exactly alike but in the first word the tone for the second part of the word is low. This means hungry. In the second word, the second part’s tone is high and this means diarrhea. You can imagine the fun that the people here have listening to us try to speak.
“This weekend we are heading for Hong Kong for two days for a staff retreat/building time. Russ and Nellie Birdsall will be leading two sessions and time set aside to fellowship with each other. Then when we return, we have a couple of days before a short-term team comes from the states. We will be taking them around Macau to show them the sites and make sure they see what we do in our daily ministry.”